This year’s playoffs are stacked with some dominant rosters and teams that make this year’s postseason truly entertaining to watch. The Dodgers and Giants have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with in the National league while the American league is up for grabs. The Houston Astros have the best offensive team in the postseason but their downfall comes with their pitching. The following are the match-ups throughout October and my predictions for the big stage.
Tampa Bay Rays v. Boston Red Sox
The ALDS is the clash of the best pitching in the American league of the four playoff teams and the second best offensive, coming slightly behind Houston’s terror of a lineup. In game one, Tampa brought the hammer down on Boston pitching and shut down Boston’s hot offense by throwing up the golden goose egg. It was the first time the Red Sox had been shut out since 2016. Both Nelson Cruz and Randy Arozarena hit absolute piss missiles into the left field seats in the 3rd and 5th innings after the Rays opened the game with 2 runs in the first. Rays pitching did exactly what they have continued to do all season long as they completely dominated hitters and kept Boston’s lineup guessing. In game two, Boston walked into the Trop smelling blood and searching for a vengeful comeback game following an embarrassing shutout the night prior. The Red Sox, lead by the one through five slots of their lineup, slapped around Tampa pitching and placed a dark, stormy cloud of the fans like the skies of a hurricane that utterly put a damper on the noise. I think that this series comes down to a Game Five in Tropicana field and will be a tough sell to prematurely pick a winner beforehand. If I had to guess based on regular season numbers, team consistencies, and variables that win big games for teams, I think Tampa Bay takes this series and sends the Red Sox packing back to Beantown.
Houston Astros v. Chicago White Sox
The Astros have the best offensive team between both the American and National league teams. In the regular season, they led the league in team batting average with .268, runs per game with 5.35, and On-base percentage at .340. Houston has continued that dominating performance against a middle of the pack, postseason White Sox team. In two games, the Astros have put up 15 runs against Chicago pitching being led by Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa. Aside for the four runs that were given up by Framber Valdez, the White Sox have scrounged 5 runs together in two games with 18 hits, 17 strikeouts and only 4 walks against Houston pitching which, when compared to the rest of the postseason teams, are 3rd to last in my book. My predictions for this series, Houston will take game 3 in Chicago with a score of 5-1, sweep the series and go on to face the Rays in the ALCS.
Atlanta Braves v. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers pitching staff while not the best team in the postseason according to the numbers, in my opinion, are the most challenging and dominating. With guys like Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Josh Hader, just to name a few of the weapons from a staunching line of hard throwers and deceptive pitchers, the pitching staff will be the sole aspect of the team remaining in the fight the entire postseason. While the Brewers do have an excellent line up with Kolten Wong, Willy Adames, Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and Avisail Garcia, they are at the bottom of my list out of the eight teams in postseason play. Atlanta’s studs Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies and company will truly have a very difficult time navigating Milwaukee’s rocky and challenging rotation and pen. Game one showed a difficult time for both lineups with the Brewers narrowly running away with a one run win. My take on the rest of this series will be coming down to game five in Milwaukee and Atlanta stunning the home crowd with a go-ahead base hit in the top of the 8th inning. Final score prediction, 6-5 Atlanta.
San Francisco Giants v. Los Angeles Dodgers
This series is probably the most exciting one of the playoffs. Two 100-win teams with endless amount of energy and desire to get back to the world series. Both teams are honestly about evenly matched when it comes to offense and pitching. San Francisco dominated the Dodgers in game one keeping them to a fat zero in the run’s column on only five meaningless hits. The Los Angeles lineup was non-existent the stud ace of the Giants Logan Webb who tossed 7 and two-thirds of scoreless, ten strikeout baseball. The odd, unorthodox submariner pitcher Tyler Rogers came in and pitched a scoreless eight then Camilo Duval read the Dodgers a soft bedtime story and shut the lights out. Baseball’s league leader in hits Trea Turner was kept in check along with power stroke of Cody Bellinger. Game two will feature baseballs regular season Wins leader and young Spanish stallion Julio Urias against Kevin Gausman who had solid regular season for the Giants with 14 wins, a 2.81 ERA, and 227 strikeouts. Both teams and their fan bases are electric when it comes to October baseball. Sitting down to watch these two go at it, no matter which ballpark they play at is an experience of its own. This game is a tough prediction with so many different things that could happen offensively or a down day for one of their throwing arms. My prediction for this series is Giants in four in Los Angeles.
World Series Predictions
The ALCS will feature the Astros and the Rays, the best offensive in the American League going up against the best pitching in the American League. I always said that pitching is the majority factor in winning games, but I believe in this case, the Astros offensive is too explosive and dangerous. Houston will beat up Tampa Bay pitching throughout the seven games series. I’m taking the Houston Astros in six games.
The NLDS is a much easier decision in the case of a world series prediction. My prediction was that Atlanta skates by a win against Milwaukee and advances. The Giants, on paper and statistically are in a league of their own and I don’t think the Braves can match their offensive prowess and the postseasons best pitching staff. I’m taking the Braves getting swept in Atlanta with the Giants going on to play the Astros in the World Series.
This World Series, if my predictions pan out, will be a very interesting and entertaining series. I believe both teams will average around 5 runs a game and the biggest blows coming from go ahead home-runs in high leverage, big pressured situations. The Giants are taking home the championship and it will be even more enjoyable when I see Houston get sent packing once more!
If you enjoy the writing, or have any comments, questions or debates you want to get into, you can follow my Twitter page that is @SlingerMosley or follow my sports Instagram page @slinger_mosley_sports.